October 13, 2012
Another weird pick from Dick
The 6-day run at MSG in '90 offered further evidence that the band was going to be okay post-Brent. The first hint was 9/8/90 in Ohio but installing the band at MSG was probably a good idea from a test tube perspective. The band played MSG 52 times total (!) and on this 6-day run, got better each night, culminating in the unexpectedly stellar 9/20/90 show. The start of the run, however, was a bit shaky and it took the arrival of Bruce to shore the ship. That said, it was odd that this middle-of-the-run show became one of the first Dick's Picks (#9), when there are three better shows from the run, and when it's not a top ten for the year, let alone of the post-Brent era (as you'd expect from an early pick). Clearly it was released based on the second set, more specifically the first half of the set, but who knows why it didn't follow the pattern of offering a best-of-run compilation (the superior last three days of the run were compiled on Road Trips 2-1).
I doubt anybody ranks this as a fave Dick's Picks but a few tracks are outstanding. The first set starts weakly until Hornsby pulls Little Red from the depths. His sections are the best of the entire set, e.g. WTF is Vince doing on Tennessee Jed? It's like anti-Dead except for Bruce (which is odd considering this was only his second show as a member!). On Deal they gingerly feel each other into an extended jam, though Jer was on it from the start; this jam is the best part of the entire set, the interplay being the first relaxed, just-go-with-it section. The bliss is short but it's there and, wow - check out Phil. The set is mainly a hint of what '94 would be like.
During halftime there must have been quite the talk from the coach because it's a turn around. Phil is insane on Samson. Vince, alas, is no Brent when it comes to Iko, but Phil is still a missionary and 6 minutes in it suddenly gels, almost making up for the 1st half. An absolute diamond moment comes from Bobby with the Looks Like Rain; maybe the best of the post-Brent era! It only took Bobby 15 years to play this well while singing lead and Jer is just exacting. Almost its equal, He's Gone stretches to 16 minutes of perfection. I dare you to find another of this length and quality. The following Jam is, oddly, just Phil, Bruce and Vince but the Drums is likewise one of the best of the year; so there's your great stretch. As for the rest, remember how it felt to struggle along with Jer during Standing on the Moon? Like if you stood on your tiptoes it would help? If you make it past 7 minutes, Jer does get into it more. Interestingly, there's a second Space jam, but it's the encore that sends 'em home happy. This Baby Blue is one of the best of the year; maybe equal to 3/22/90. Overall, though it's Bruce and Phil that pwn this show.
Set 1: C-
Set 2: B-
Overall: 2 1/2 Stars
Samson & Delilah
Looks Like Rain (don't miss)
Over Now, Baby Blue
wklitz.97707 has the best presence but french.88947 has the best frequency response with Phil's notes being rendered without thuds and more accurate high end.
August 22, 2012
Great God Almighty, Talk To Me!
Have to chime in and agree with Gvtmule, there should be more reviews for this one! Very good sound for an audience recording. Yes there is quite a bit of crowd noise...at times...mostly it's not distracting at all. Backstage passes or whatever...It worked. Overall very good sound, well balanced, nothings overblown,muted or totally lost, Just very solid all the way through. High points; Starts out strong with a good Hell in a bucket, followed by a very good Cold Rain and Snow. Along the way a good Queen Jane,nice Cassidy, and closes 1st set with Deal. 2nd set opens with a killer Samson and Delilah into Iko Iko....I could go on, but I think you get the point....There are a lot of Madison Square Garden shows that are the stuff legends are made of... this one belongs in that group. Personally I've been listening to it a lot....That’s Right!